In the first half of an exciting SCIAC double-header, the CMS Athenas executed another balanced attack beating seventh ranked University of Redlands 5-4 in 9 innings. The loss was Redlands' second conference loss on the year, the first also coming to CMS in mid-February.
A topsy turvy offensive start and two early defensive miscues allowed the Bulldogs to go ahead 2-0 after two innings, but once the Athenas settled in the momentum began to shift. In the top of the fourth, Katerina Yale (FR, Valencia) hooked a shot down the right field line. Melissa Munoz (FR, Union City) followed with a rope to left center. Their back-to-back doubles plated Yale for CMS' first run, closing the gap to 2-1.
A strong defensive fourth followed as Yale and heady infield play caught two runners attempting to steal second. In the top of the fifth, the Athenas quickly made two outs. Freshman Michelle Harvey (San Diego) kept the inning alive drawing a walk. Then Jessica Vaughn (JR, Placerville [pictured left]) began an offensive tear that resulted in three hits, two runs and an RBI (including a game tying RBI and the game winning run) in five plate appearances. With Harvey on first, Vaughn crushed a double to the fence in left center scoring the speedy frosh from first.
The game stayed knotted at 2 until Redlands senior Melanie Hamlin drove in 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth. With their backs against the wall, the Athenas began the top of the seventh down 4-2. With two outs, junior Vaughn stepped up to the plate again. This time she laced a line drive through the right side starting what would become a two-out, two-run, game-tying rally. Yale followed with a walk and up came hot handed Munoz. Fighting off a tough pitch, Munoz fearlessly drove the ball to gap in left center plating both Vaughn and Yale with a clutch 2 RBI double.
Sophomore pitcher Dianna Buckett (Longwood, CO), scattered 10 hits, gave up four runs and led the Athenas from the circle in a stellar display of composure, power, and finesse through six innings. Her performance radiated a faith in her teammates that proved to be both prescient and critical.
Erika Weingart (Brea [pictured right]) took the ball in the bottom of the seventh with the game locked at four. Through innings seven, eight and nine, the junior reliever (who earned the win) gave a season's best performance, allowing no runs and just four hits in 13 batters faced across three tight innings. Her ability to contain the Bulldogs freed up the Athenas to scratch out the game winning run in the top of the ninth. Vaughn capped off her extraordinary day singling through the left side with one out. An error and walk then loaded the bases for Emily Coleman (FR, Bellevue, WA) to score Vaughn with the game winning RBI single.
Weingart shut down the Bulldogs one last time in the bottom of the ninth making a superb defensive play herself to end the game.
The Athenas were unable to gain the sweep losing game two 9-3.
This week the Athenas host La Verne on Saturday, April 12th. Games are at 12 and 2.